Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey opposes Supreme Court pick before final decision

Hardiman is a "late addition" to Trump's final four, per the New York Times, but he was the runner-up to Justice Neil Gorsuch past year.

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court is seen as the court nears the end of its term in Washington, U.S., June 11, 2018.

Since Kennedy declared his retirement almost two weeks ago, conservative groups have been gearing up for a battle of a lifetime as Democrats vow to do everything possible to block President Trump's choice. Hardiman, a one-time cab driver from Waltham, Massachusetts who was the first member of his family to attend college, served alongside Trump's older sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, on the 3rd Circuit.

Speaking of the president's shortlist, which The Hill reported includes Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman, Graham suggested that any conservative Republican would be happy with the options-touting Hardiman in particular as a good choice.

A source familiar with the process said Trump has made his choice.

Kavanaugh, 53, is a former Kennedy law clerk who was appointed to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals by former President George W. Bush after serving five years in the White House counsel's office during the Bush administration. "And that's really ultimately what drives the conservative legal movement..."

Kethledge serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati. He claimed that due to how dysfunctional the two parties were, it is unlikely that many Democrats would support a Trump nominee.

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah also weighed in on Casey's statement, tweeting that the senator's opposition comes as no surprise. She rocketed to the top of Trump's earlier list of 25 Supreme Court candidates after her performance during her confirmation hearing last fall, when Democrats cited her deep Catholic faith as a potential problem.

Given GOP control of the Senate and the chamber's Republican leader Mitch McConnell's abolition of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations during the Gorsuch confirmation saga, any of the four is expected to have a strong chance of confirmation.

The announcement will set in a motion a brutal - and expensive - political battle over Trump's supreme court nominee. Doug Jones of Alabama.

The Commander-in-Chief said he was "looking forward" to unveiling his pick to join the Supreme Court Sunday evening, adding "an exceptional person will be chosen". Of the court's liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Stephen Breyer turns 80 next month, so Trump may well get another opportunity to cement conservative dominance of the court for years to come.

  • Santos West